This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jonathan Horton. Jonathan is a 2-time Olympian in gymnastics, winning a silver and bronze medal at the 2008 and 2012 games, he’s a 2 time U.S. national all-around champion, and a 17-time medalist at the U.S. national championships. And if that wasn’t enough, in recent years, he also took on American Ninja Warrior and became a perennial finalist there as well.
Additionally, Jonathan is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and author starting multiple businesses, including the Ninja Coalition, a traveling Ninja Warrior experience company.
Jonathan wasn’t the most talented kid to walk through doors of a training facility, but was one of the most driven and dedicated, so much that he spent 28 years of his life in pursuit of excellence in gymnastics.
It’s the relentless pursuit and everything he’s learned along the way that I want to explore with him and share with you in this episode.
@JHorton11 on Instagram
Jonathan’s journey is full of ups, downs, twists, and turns. When most people see an Olympian, a lot of times they think that they are just that talented or gifted and while some are, Jonathan was not. He struggled from the start and wasn’t quick to succeed. As he says, he is a slow learner and things took him longer.
He was passed up by a lot of kids early on. What he did have was a lot of energy and the ability to outlast. By the time he was 20 years old, he was #1 in the country and by 22, he was going to his first Olympics.
“You don’t need to have a lot of talent to be successful in this world.”
Jonathan shares that the one thing he was gifted with was a lack of fear. He took off when he was 4 years old in a Target with his mom, and he climbed to the rafters of the store. The next day his parents enrolled him in gymnastics.
Tell us about the pursuit. What is it that drives someone like you from an early age to stick with something to its pinnacle?
It wasn’t that he didn’t have challenges. He wanted to quick almost every single, but told himself he would come back the next day.
Everyone needs to find their “Olympic moment” in their lives….
What is it that makes someone finally decide to go for true greatness and not turn back? How does find that point and make the decision and do it?
At the 13:30 mark, Jonathan gives an example using the High Bar where he talks about “waiting for the bar to come to him vs. coming to the bar.”
At the 19 min mark, we talk about how when you are able to go through failures and keep going, it gets easier.
Tell us about the mental side and how you mentally prepare for success….
Jonathan would look calm on the outside, but had tremendous anxiety on the inside.
Jonathan tried to eliminate, but over time realized he couldn’t do it….so he embraced it.
Embracing it shifted his ability to perform.
He embraced being nervous and anxious and made it part of his routine. He turned it into adrenaline.
This was the game changer for him. He began to train every day trying to make himself nervous to prepare himself for the real compensation.
“Practice like you compete and compete like you practice.”
At the 27:30 mark, I share a story of a discussion I had with an Olympic hopeful for this year and relate it to the mental game. Jonathan talks about his coach used to deliberately try to distract him while practicing as a technique to help him focus better and overcome anxiety.
Tell us about the importance of the “little things” and the difference they can make…
What are some of the key takeaways from your book Falling Forward?
How did the lessons you learned about succeeding at the Olympic translate to Entrepreneurship?
The biggest one is to learn is to stay in your own lane and not compromise your own game plan.
You have stick with your game plan and not worry about the others.
You are going to have great moments and bad moments, but eventually you will get to the end of your race.
For younger entrepreneurs – Stop Trying to Be Cool!
You can cool yourself all the way to nothing.
If you want to be successful, throw out being cool, and be laser focused on what you want. Don’t let trying to fit in get in your way, even if people make fun of you or give you crap because of it.
Best Quote: Practice like you compete and compete like you practice.
Jonathan's Misfit 3:
Indeed.Com - www.Indeed.com/Lukas
5 Minute Journal - www.MisfitEntrepreneur.com/Journal